Honda CBR600RR

The King is dead. Long live the King!

RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

SO IT’S OF­FI­CIAL; af­ter 30 years, the CBR600 sports­bike is all but dead. Al­ready fa­tally weak­ened by the col­lapse in su­pers­port 600 sales, it’ll fi­nally be killed off by the Euro4 en­vi­ron­men­tal leg­is­la­tion that came in this year. It’s just not worth Honda’s in­vest­ment to pro­duce a bike that com­plies with the new rules, so once the ne­go­ti­ated grace pe­riod for sell­ing older mod­els ex­pires, that’s that. But are we down­hearted? Well, maybe a bit - for those of us who started rid­ing in the 1980s, the CBR’S pro­gres­sion from orig­i­nal jelly-mould to 21st-cen­tury, stripped-down race replica more or less mir­rors our own phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. And by mir­rors, I mean it shows it in re­verse... And that’s part of the prob­lem of course - as av­er­age rider age creeps up, fewer peo­ple want to (or can, for that mat­ter) fold their creaky joints onto a titchy su­pers­port 600.

But a good, sporty 600 still has a lot go­ing for it and the CBR600RR is very good in­deed. It was good enough to take the World Su­pers­port cham­pi­onship in 2007, 2009 and 2010. More sur­pris­ingly, the mildly up­dated ver­sion re­peated the feat in 2014. In the same pe­riod, Honda took the man­u­fac­turer’s ti­tle six times. So the CBR-RR clearly has the race­track pedi­gree but it’s also a great road bike - light, nim­ble, re­li­able and as happy thread­ing through traf­fic as howl­ing round a track­day.

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